One of the Highest-Rated Zoos in the World
If you are an avid animal lover, a wildlife enthusiast, or just looking for a great family getaway, you should include the famed Prague Zoo in your bucket list! In Prague Zoo, you can marvel at over 5000 animals of more than 650 species, living in modern, well-maintained pavilions, vast enclosures and intriguing expositions. Enjoy the spectacle of amazing animals from any corner of the globe without having to leave the city!
Prague Zoo has gone through substantial evolution since its founding in 1931, establishing itself as one of the world’s best zoological institutions of today. It was heralded as the 5th best zoo in the world according to 2018 TripAdvisor users’ reviews. It also ranked among the four finalists of the prestigious WAZA Conversation Awards 2020 – becoming the only European zoological garden achieving such accomplishment that year.
Indonesian Jungle is the name of the impressive ellipse-shaped pavilion located only a few minutes’ walk to the north of the main entrance, nearby the Polar Bears exposition. Inside, you can set upon the adventurous path through the tropical forests of Southeast Asia, with the birds cheerfully tweeting and flying free under the glass ceiling, accompanied by a group of orangutans, macaques and gibbons. You may also find tortoises and the legendary Komodo dragons living there, hiding behind the leaves of tropical plants.
Another must-see place is the Gorilla Pavilion, nestled between the Feline and Reptile Pavilion and the Children’s Zoo to the south of the complex. The family of western gorillas living inside are one of the chief “celebrities” of the zoo. They even had their own “reality show” loosely based on the Big Brother TV series where people could vote for their favourite gorilla. Their home consists of the outdoor and the indoor section. Behind the large windows of the indoor hall, you can admire these fascinating apes from up close. A new pavilion for these apes is currently under construction in the northern part of the zoo. It will accommodate its inhabitants and welcome the first visitors as early as 2022.
Among one of the most popular features of the zoo is the spectacular Elephant Valley. You can find it close to the northern entrance – west of the Africa Up Close pavilion presenting the animal population of the African continent and the Hippo Pavilion. The Elephant Valley is home to a herd of majestic Asian elephants. You can observe them from a half-kilometre-long path. If you’re watching closely, you may spot Gulab – the oldest elephant in Prague Zoo. In 2019, the zoo organised a massive birthday party for her to celebrate her 60th birthday!
If you cross the bridge over Pod Hrachovkou street to the northern part of the zoo, you’ll find yourself in a piece of Africa in Central Europe. On your left, the vast grassy lands of African Savanna spread out, populated by giraffes, zebras, antelopes, ostriches or meerkats. The elevated platform is a perfect vantage point.
On the right-hand side stands the African House, a shelter built primarily for the giraffes, but also for other different species from the African grasslands.
Some other fascinating places include Lemur Island, Bird Wetlands or the Darwin Crater, located in the southern part of the zoological garden.
One of the more adventuresome attractions is the cableway (in Czech called lanovka). It can be found in the central part of the zoo, taking the visitors up to the zoo’s higher grounds. Cableway’s upper station is located by the pastures inhabited by the unique Przewalski’s horses. They are a genuine treasure of Prague Zoo. Originally, they were native to the great steppes of Mongolia and China. Unfortunately, they became extinct in the wild during the 1970s. Prague Zoo strives to reintroduce Przewalski’s horses to their native habitat and has successfully organised many transfers of the Prague-raised horses to their native land.
Do you also love penguins and seals as much as we do? These fascinating animals can be found just a stone’s throw away to the south of the main entrance. The Cape Fur Seal Exhibit consists of a large outdoor pool with a rocky section imitating the South African seashores. It also features a stand from which you can enjoy the seals performing amusing feats during their public training sessions. Pavilion of Penguins inhabited by a group of Humboldt penguins lies directly next to the seals’ habitat.
Visiting the Prague Zoo
Prague Zoo lies in the Troja quarter, Prague 7, about 4 km to the north of the historical city centre. The southern side of the garden lines with the banks of the Vltava River.
As the zoo is laid out over an extensive area of 58 hectares, enjoying its beauties to the fullest can be tiring. Luckily, there are many cafés and restaurants on the premises. Public restrooms and resting places are also aplenty.
The main entrance and the visitors’ centre are situated on the easternmost end of the zoo by the Zoologická zahrada bus stop. Furthermore, there’re two minor – usually less crowded – entrances: North Entrance at the Pod Hrachovkou street and South Entrance near the Vltava embankment. Ticket offices are present at each gate.
Prague Zoo is open to the public all year round. Checking the current opening hours and the admission rates ahead of your visit is recommended. At the time of writing, the zoo offered off-season tickets for a reduced price on the so-called Happy Mondays. Check the availability of this special offer on their official web page.
If you’d like to take your dog to Prague Zoo with you, it’s possible, although some special rules apply.
Travelling by tram, ride to Trojská station (tram lines no. 17 and 93) and change here for bus no. 112 heading towards Zoologická zahrada (Zoological garden) or Podhoří. Exit at Zoologická zahrada (main and south entrance) or Botanická zahrada Troja (north entrance).
Using metro, leave the train at Nádraží Holešovice (Line C), and change here for bus no. 112 heading towards Zoologická zahrada (Zoological garden) or Podhoří.
Check your up-to-date connections at idos.cz or in the Lítačka app.
There are numerous paid car parks nearby the entrances. Finding an empty spot for your vehicle shouldn’t be a big deal, although it might get slightly trickier in the summer season.
Amazing Places Nearby
- Troja Palace – A beautiful Baroque chateau surrounded by a garden, including a hedge maze.
- Prague Botanical Garden – A wonderful collection of a countless number of plants – both domestic and exotic.
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